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Congressional Testimony: Iran’s Noncompliance With Its International Atomic Energy Agency Obligations

Statement of Ms. Rebeccah L. Heinrichs
Fellow, George C. Marshall Institute

House Foreign Affairs Committee
Subcommittee on The Middle East and North Africa

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
2:00 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Member Deutch, members of the committee, thank you for the invitation to participate in this hearing.

It is important to keep at the front of our minds the context in which the P5+1 has attempted to secure a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program. Iran views the U.S. and Israel as its principal enemies1 and over the past three decades Iran has very intentionally created a network of terrorist surrogates able to target U.S. interests and Israel.2

The terror or militant groups it supports are HAMAS, Lebanese Hezbollah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Taliban, and Iraqi Shia groups. Hezbollah, in particular, has increased its global terrorist activities to a level greater than the intelligence community has seen since the 1990s.3

Iran continues to undermine U.S. interests and that of our allies while expanding its own influence throughout the Middle East. It has done so by exploiting sectarian turmoil and by arming Palestinian groups, Shia (Huthi) rebels in Yemen, and Shia militants in Bahrain, to name just a few.

It is also directly and recently responsible for the death of American soldiers. In 2010, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey estimated that groups backed by Iran were responsible for up to a quarter of U.S. deaths in Iraq.4

All this to say, the regime does not view the P5+1 talks as an opportunity for rapprochement. To the contrary, it remains committed to its revolutionary objectives, supports terrorism, continues to view the United States as a principal enemy, and has shown unwavering commitment to its illicit programs at enormous cost to its economy and international standing.


Iran has failed to instill confidence in the most optimistic of U.S. diplomats that it is earnest about maintaining a nuclear program that is exclusively and verifiably for peaceful purposes. At the recent AIPAC conference, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the administration holds a “distrust yet verify” policy towards Iran, an important twist on President Reagan’s policy towards the former Soviet Union: “trust but verify.”

But if the U.S. enters negotiations already admitting such distrust, it must be that much more demanding about the verification regime and the cooperation of the Iranians. But the Iranians have not shown a willingness to cooperate. Indeed, during the course of talks Iran has moved forward with what it claims is a peaceful nuclear program in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and has to this day stonewalled the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) efforts to verify the Iranians’ claim that the nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

The refusal to fully cooperate with IAEA inspectors has been ongoing for more than a decade.

After the 2002 public disclosure of secret Iranian facilities including the large uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and the Arak heavy water plant, the IAEA began investigating whether or not Iran was in breach of its safeguards agreement and concluded on September 24, 2005 that it was.5 In the following years the U.N. passed six Security Council resolutions related to its nuclear program.

Rather than cooperating with the IAEA to address the concerns, Iran deceived and blocked inspectors while continuing its program. For example, Iran continued to construct an enrichment facility at Qom violating Security Council calls to suspend all enrichment-related activities, and then did not notify the IAEA of its existence until September 2009.6

In November 2011 the IAEA laid out possible military dimensions of the program. The Agency concluded that Iran had been undergoing a “structured program” that included possible weaponization activities until the end of 2003.7 (In 2007 the Intelligence Community assessed that Ian had suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003.8)

The 2011 IAEA report cited activities related to “the development of a nuclear explosive device that continued after 2003″ and noted these particular activities could remain ongoing.9

A 2012 resolution adopted by the IAEA confirmed Iran remained uncooperative, had not provided the Agency necessary access to sites requested, in particular the military site Parchin,10 and was therefore unable to verify that Iran’s nuclear program was peaceful.

The IAEA’s ability to make this verification must be a prerequisite to any deal that could result in advantaging the Iranian regime.

But, in a 2013 public event at the Wilson Center while speaking of the still unaddressed military dimensions of the program, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano explained that getting to the bottom of the concerns was an effort ongoing in parallel with the P5+1 talks, but emphasized that “it is essential that Iran cooperate with us to clarify these issues.”11

Days before the November 24, 2014 political framework deadline Mr. Amano told the agency’s board of governors, “Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the Agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures, nor has it proposed any new practical measures in the next step of the Framework for Cooperation, despite several requests from the Agency.”12

Just last month, an IAEA report again confirmed that “Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures.”13


By all accounts, the P5+1 talks have focused on narrow portions of the nuclear program to the exclusion of other issues, including Iran’s missile program. Iran wants more than a nuclear weapon. It wants to be able to credibly threaten its adversaries with a nuclear-armed missile, and also with a variety of conventionally armed missiles.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 explicitly seeks to curb Iran’s missile program. It plainly states: “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that States shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.”14

Missiles are a cost-effective way for a country like Iran to pose an asymmetric threat to much more militarily sophisticated countries like the U.S. and are powerful weapons for coercion; therefore, Iran is motivated to keep and improve its arsenal. Indeed, Iran has the region’s largest arsenal of ballistic missiles and is developing their quality at a rate faster than previously thought.15 Its arsenal includes conventional ballistic missiles, anti-ship ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and surface-to-air (SAM) missiles. Notably, Iran has flight-tested its Fateh-110 ballistic missile, and by modifying it, improved its accuracy giving it the ability to threaten ships in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.16 Iran has continued its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) development, which if achieved would give it the ability to threaten the United States homeland. Iran has used its long-range rockets to orbit satellites in 2009, 2011, 2012, and again on February 2, 2015 of this year.17 Satellite launches possess technologies directly relevant to the development of ICBMs.18 Intelligence reports have consistently assessed that with foreign assistance Iran could have the ability to flight-test an ICBM by 2015.19

Additionally, in February 2014, the Iranian military announced it had successfully tested an indigenously produced long-range missile. It is worth noting that the missile tests occurred on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, showing the importance Iran places the advancement of its missile program within the context of its larger strategic objectives. Celebrating the revolution Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “The revolution started because people didn’t want to accept humiliation,” Rouhani told his country. “Is it possible for the great revolutionary people, it is possible for this nation to accept humiliation by foreign powers or America after 35 years? It is as if they have not recognized the great nation of Iran…”20

The 2013 Worldwide Threats report by the Director of National Intelligence assessed, “We judge Iran would likely choose a ballistic missile as its preferred method of delivering a nuclear weapon, if one is ever fielded.”21

According to press reports, over the summer Mr. Khamenei called on the IRGC to mass-produce ballistic missiles.22 Surprising no one, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace-Force said his country’s “defense capabilities, specifically its ballistic missiles, are non-negotiable.23

During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in February 2014 Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman stated that the current negotiations with Iran, “does address the fact that their ballistic missiles that could be used as a delivery mechanism for nuclear weapons must be addressed as part of a comprehensive solution because it is part of the U.N. Security Council resolutions. So it is true that in these first six months we have not shut down all of their production of any ballistic missile that could have anything to do with delivery of a nuclear weapon, but that is, indeed, going to be part of something that has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement.”24

Then, in a July 2014 hearing with this Committee, Undersecretary Sherman, seeming to back away from her earlier contention that the Iranian ballistic missile program will be included in a comprehensive agreement, remarked that Resolution 1929 is “not about ballistic missiles per se,” but about nuclear-armed missiles.25

But, a ballistic missile can carry a conventional or non-conventional warhead including those that are chemical, biological, and nuclear.26

Iran continues to support terrorism and there is no evidence that it has made the political decision to move away from achieving a nuclear weapons capability. Any deal that purports to stop its program must have stringent verification measures and Iran must be required to fully cooperate with the IAEA. Getting to the bottom of the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program ought to be a necessary condition to moving forward with any kind of negotiations.27 Even if this is accomplished, any deal focused on Iran’s nuclear program must include its formidable missile program.

Thank you again for the invitation to discuss this subject. I look forward to your questions.

.     .     .    .     .     .    .     .     .    .     .     .    .     .     .    .     .     .

1 James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, Testimony on the U.S. Intelligence Community Worldwide Threat Assessment, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, March 12, 2013.
2 Department of Defense, Annual Report on the Military Power of Iran, 2012, accessed online at
3 Ibid
4 Michael Christie, “Quarter of U.S. Deaths Due to Iran Groups-Envoy,” Reuters, August 26, 2010.
5 Implementation of the IAEA Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Resolution adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors, September 24, 2005,(GOV/2005/77).
6 U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929, adopted June 9, 2010.
7 Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Report by the IAEA Director General, November 8, 2011.
8 Office of the Director of Intelligence, National Intelligence Estimate, Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities, 2007.
9 Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Report by the IAEA Director General, November 8, 2011.
10 Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, IAEA Board of Governors, September 13, 2012.
11 Transcript from a public event with Mr. Yukiya Amano at the Wilson Center, November 6, 2013, at
12 Jeremy Diamond, International Nuclear Watchdog: Iran Needs to Cooperate, CNN, November 20, 2014.
13 Shadia Nasralla, Iran Still Stalling U.N. Nuclear Inquiry as Deal Deadline Looms: IAEA, Reuters, February 19, 2015.
14 U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929, adopted on June 9, 2010.
15 General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., Commander of Northern Command, statement before the House Armed Services Committee, February 26, 2014.
16 Vice Admiral James Syring, testimony before the House Armed Services, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, March 25, 2014.
17 Stephen Clark, “Iranian Satellite Successfully Placed in Orbit,” Spaceflight Now, February 2, 2015.
18 General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., Commander of Northern Command, Northern Command posture statement before the House Armed Services Committee, February 26, 2014.
19 U.S. Department of Defense, Report on Military Power of Iran, January 2014. 20 Holly Yan, “Iran Touts Launch of New Missiles; U.S. Says Its Watching Closely,”, February 11, 2014.
21 James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, “U.S. Intelligence Community Worldwide Threat Assessment Statement for the Record,” March 12, 2013.
22 “Iran Makes the Rules,” The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2014.
23 Behnam Ben Taleblu, Patrick Megahan, “Iran Fires Cruise Missile Through Sanctions Loophole,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, March 11, 2015.
24 Oral testimony from Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the “Iran Nuclear Negotiations,” February 4, 2014.
25 Hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, July 29, 2014.
26 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, 2013.

Proposed Deal with Iran Not Legal; Iranian Nukes in South America

by Peter Huessy     •     Gatestone Institute

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) forbids any of its signatories to have nuclear weapons. Full stop.

The P5+1 have been attempting to amend the NPT without going through the process established by the NPT itself — and attempting to do this for just one of its 190 signatories: Iran.

Under the terms of the NPT, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) have no legal authority to amend the treaty unilaterally, to abrogate the treaty, or to allow nations that are signatories to the NPT to abrogate the treaty.

The NPT can only be changed through a review conference of all parties. All changes agreed to after that must be consented to by the signatory nations, according to their own legal requirements. [Read more...]

There’s a Not-So-Small Problem With the President’s Claim That the US is Seeing a ‘Jobs Recovery’

by Frank Camp     •     IJReview

According to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts, using data from 2000-2013, the middle class population in America has “shrunk” in all 50 states:

The states that have suffered the most recently are:

2000: 54.6% middle-class
2013: 48.9% middle-class
Total loss: 5.7%

2000: 50.9% middle-class
2013: 45.7%% middle-class
Total loss: 5.2%

North Dakota:
2000: 52.6% middle-class
2013: 47.5% middle-class
Total loss: 5.1%

States that have fared the best recently are:

[Read more...]

Consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change effects in NEPA Reviews

Marlo Lewis Competitive Enterprise Institute and Free Market Allies Comment Letter on NEPA GHG Guidance Document 73-1

[Read more...]

Netanyahu pollster: US President’s role in election larger than reported

By Jesse Byrnes     •     The Hill

Corruption TransparencyPresident Obama’s role during the Israeli elections was larger than reported, according to a pollster for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

“What was not well reported in the American media is that President Obama and his allies were playing in the election to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu,” John McLaughlin, a Republican strategist, said in an interview on John Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” radio show broadcast Sunday on AM 970 in New York.

“There was money moving that included taxpayer U.S. dollars, through non-profit organizations. And there were various liberal groups in the United States that were raising millions to fund a campaign called V15 against Prime Minister Netanyahu,” McLaughlin said. [Read more...]

Khamenei calls ‘Death to America’ as Kerry hails progress on nuke deal

Day after Obama urges Iran to seize ‘historic opportunity,’ supreme leader says US seeks to create insecurity

by Times of Israel Staff     •     The Times of Israel

Obama IranIran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for “Death to America” on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a “historic opportunity” for a nuclear deal and a better future, and as US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed substantial progress toward an accord.

Khamenei told a crowd in Tehran that Iran would not capitulate to Western demands. When the crowd started shouting, “Death to America,” the ayatollah responded: “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.

“They insist on putting pressure on our dear people’s economy,” he said, referring to economic sanctions aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear program. “What is their goal? Their goal is to put the people against the system,” he said. “The politics of America is to create insecurity,” he added, referring both to US pressure on Iran and elsewhere in the region. [Read more...]

Scott Walker Signs Right-To-Work Into Law

The Wisconsin governor has created a template for busting unions

3_172015_b3-patterson8201_c0-106-1800-1155_s561x327By Matt Patterson     •     Washington Times

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is clearly running for president.

He may or may not win the nomination; he may or may not win the presidency. Even if he never wins another election, Mr. Walker is already the most consequential Republican politician of the last quarter-century, excepting only George W. Bush.

On March 9, with the stroke of his pen, Mr. Walker pierced the heart of Wisconsin organized labor when he signed right-to-work into law. Right-to-work allows workers to opt out of union dues and is viciously opposed by unions who maintain the level of financial support they do only because many workers are forced by federal labor law to pony up.

Right-to-work changes that. It does not forbid unionization; it does not outlaw unions. Labor unions are perfectly free to organize in right-to-work states. The only difference — in right-to-work states they actually have to earn the dues money they collect.

Right-to-work has traditionally been confined to the deep-red South and West. Wisconsin now follows Michigan as right-to-work advances into the deep-blue Midwest and Upper West. [Read more...]

Liberals Find An Excuse To Abandon Israel

It’s got nothing to do with American principles and everything to do with partisanship.

By David Harsanyi     •     The Federalist

netanyahu_israelIsrael is a liberal nation—in the best sense of the word—but it’s not a leftist one. And for increasing numbers of Democrats, the center-right consensus of Israeli politics is unacceptable, immoral and bigoted, incompatible with their conception of American values.

This is bad news, because Likud looks like it’s going to win around 30 seats. If the numbers hold, Benjamin Netanyahu, despite the best efforts of the president and his allies, will likely remain prime minister. Bougie Herzog will, no doubt, have a bright future in the opposition.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Paul Krugman had already declared Likud’s impeding fall was all about inequality. (What isn’t, right?) Slate proposed that Likud’s looming death would be about housing, or maybe it was racism. Mostly, though, Netanyahu was going to lose because he has a nasty habit of challenging the progressive worldview of Barack Obama, which offends many people, according to the New York Times. And really, is there any bigger sin? [Read more...]

Testing the Limits of “Suspension of Disbelief”

72820By Shawn Macomber  Lawfare Tyranny 

How much “artistic license” will be required to make the International Criminal Court appear fair, effective, and/or legitimate?

We’re about to find out: Writer/director Hugo Blick plans to follow up his Maggie Gyllenhaal-starring BBC2 hit The Honourable Woman with an eight-part series set in The Hague, detailing the ICC’s supposedly noble, swashbuckling role in the world.

Here’s hoping Blick’s plotting a farce because — as regular readers of this space well know — the reality of the Court is like watching the world’s most expensive paint dry in an Africans Only cellblock.

We’ll say it again: ICC fandom fails victims.

Cutting Healthcare Costs Without Harming Patients

by Peter Roff     •     The Hill

obamacare pay less for healthcareA debate has raged for more than 20 years now over the best way to bend the U.S. healthcare cost curve downward. So far, no one is winning – least of all patients and healthcare providers. And no one will as long as “bending the curve” (which is just a fancy way of saying we need to find ways to make the delivery of healthcare cheaper) remains the primary objective regardless of the impact on patient care.

Up to now the debate has focused largely on what government can proactively do to ease costs. This led to the passage by the narrowest of margins of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – which is really nothing more than a complex series of new regulations and taxes, fines and fees that have forced insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and patients all to make changes in the way they provide and receive care as well as coverage.

People don’t like the new system very much but they weren’t exactly fans of the old one either. And no matter what the United States Supreme Court determines in the pending King vs. Burwell suit over the questionable use of tax dollars to subsidize health insurance bought through the federal exchange by people living in states that do not have exchanges of their own, things can probably only get worse. [Read more...]

The ObamaCare of Arms-Control Agreements

The Iran nuclear deal has the same political weaknesses as the Affordable Care Act.

By Daniel Henninger     •     Wall Street Journal

Obama Iran Nuke DealThe Iran nuclear deal is going to be the ObamaCare of arms-control agreements—a substantive mess undermined by a failure to build adequate political support.

Next Tuesday is the deadline for completing the “political” terms of an agreement with Iran. “Technical” details arrive in June. From news reporting on the negotiations, it appears the agreement is turning into a virtual Rube Goldberg machine, a patchwork of fixes that its creators will claim somehow limits Iran’s nuclear breakout period to “a year.” Which is to say, it’s going to be another ObamaCare, a poorly designed mega-project others will have to clean up later.

Just as ObamaCare was a massive entitlement program enacted with no Republican support (unlike Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), the administration’s major arms-control agreement is bypassing a traditional vote in the Senate. Instead, it will get rubber-stamp approval by, of all things, the U.N. Security Council. [Read more...]

At the White House, There’s Nobody Home

By Victor Davis Hanson     •     RealClearPolitics

Obama Corruption IntimidationWhat has gone wrong with the U.S. government in the past month? Just about everything, from the fundamental to the ridiculous.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the United States to warn Congress about the dangers of a nuclear Iran. He spoke without the invitation of an irritated President Obama, who claimed that he did not even watch the address on television.

Obama declined to even meet with the Israeli prime minister, announcing that it would have been improper for him to have such a meeting so close to Netanyahu’s re-election bid.

But if Obama was so concerned about not influencing the Israeli elections, why, according to some news accounts, is a Senate panel launching an investigation into whether Obama’s State Department gave grant money to a nonprofit organization, the OneVoice Movement, that sought to unseat Netanyahu with the help of several former Obama campaign operatives?

Then, 47 Republican senators signed an unusual letter to the Iranian theocracy, reminding it that any agreement on Iran’s nuclear program negotiated with the Obama administration would have to first clear Congress. [Read more...]

Iran Declares Pre-emptive Victory in Nuke Talks

Iran FlagIntroduction by Peter Huessy     •     National Security Roundtable

Iran’s foreign minister and chief negotiator in nuclear talks with the West declared victory for his country, stating that no matter how the negotiations end, Tehran has come out “the winner,” according to remarks made on Tuesday (see below).

While some may dismiss this as typical Iranian bluster, we (NSR) would venture to say it’s one of those rare moments where Iran is actually telling the TRUTH.

As we and others have been saying from day one, Iran’s main goal in its negotiations with the West has been to gain TIME. Time to complete its nuclear weapons program and delivery systems, and operate freely, while under relaxed sanctions.

But the truth is Iran is doing much more. Its Revolutionary Guards have taken over and are leading the Iraqi military and Iraqi Shia militias in the fight against ISIS. That would explain the recent sightings of General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Quds Force (a division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) in places like Tikrit, Iraq and even in Amman, Jordan. [Read more...]

Al Gore at SXSW: We Need to ‘Punish Climate-Change Deniers’ and ‘Put a Price on Carbon’

al gore_global warming_climate change_carbonEditor’s Note: Al Gore wants to “punish” people who disagree with him. Sadly, there is nothing new in this — the far Left has been talking about punishing and holding “Nuremberg-style trials” for those who do not agree with Al Gore and his climate alarmist buddies for many years. That is as anti-American as it comes. If they had their way, they would throw Free Speech on the ash heap of history. These people are dangerous. They do not seek to govern us as citizens with inalienable rights. They seek to rule over us as subjects and they seek to force their opinions upon us. They are wanna-be dictators. If given the power, they would abuse it. They’ve told us that much.

Sensible Americans are horrified when extremists punish those with whom they disagree in the Middle East. Al Gore and his ilk won’t likely behead anyone, but they share the same intolerance for differences of opinion and the same absolute confidence that they are “right” and that being “right” gives them the right to outlaw and punish those who don’t agree with them. As a group that was targeted by the IRS because the word “Freedom” appears in our name, we take seriously threats to punish people who don’t share the views of a self-appointed orthodoxy. The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to protect thought, opinion and the ability to debate and disagree within a context of constitutional freedom. But the far left does not respect the right of free speech or our constitutional freedoms. They seek to control and dominate. They always have and they always will. That is simply who they are. And now Al Gore provides further vivid evidence of this sad but undeniable fact. [Read more...]

Global Warming

by Walter E Williams      •      Townhall

Obama Global Warming“But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact,” said President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. Saying the debate is settled is nonsense, but the president is right about climate change. gives the definition of climate change: “Changes in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer. Climate change encompasses both increases and decreases in temperature, as well as shifts in precipitation, changing risk of certain types of severe weather events, and changes to other features of the climate system.” That definition covers all weather phenomena throughout all 4.54 billion years of Earth’s existence. [Read more...]